For any managed service provider (MSP), achieving operational efficiency is critical to stay ahead in today’s highly competitive environment. It is the key to expand business, improve customer satisfaction and increase profitability. Today, MSPs offer a range of customer services that include monitoring IT systems, 24X7 support and helping customers make wise IT decisions that will yield benefits in the long run. However, when their operational efficiency is low, MSPs will have a tough time handling this plethora of activities.
Here are some strategies MSPs can adopt in order to increase operational efficiency:
Invest in Top-quality Support
Investing in high quality support will enable you to handle your business specific challenges with greater operational efficiency. It will minimize downtime and ensure high availability. So be very clear about the services that you will be offering to your customers. In case you have already managed a range of break/fix issues, you are likely to be good at handling various IT related services.
Choose managed IT services in which you have a strong hold, in which you have majority of your experience and expertise. Also, ensure that your staff is competent enough to provide high quality IT support to your customers. If need arises, provide all the necessary training and even hire new employees so that your staff is well equipped to provide appropriate service.
Define Hierarchy, Roles and Responsibilities
Without an established hierarchy in work, it can difficult for employees to perform their roles efficiently. On the other hand, properly structured hierarchy in MSP companies will ensure efficient communication between employees, increase productivity and improve morale. It will enable MSPs to better focus on a single set of goals, instead of each team working towards its own agenda.
As an MSP, you don’t want a group of employees working on the same issue while other tickets are left unattended. So defining roles and responsibilities of each of your employees is paramount to the success of your organization. You can assign roles and tasks to your team members depending upon the level of their expertise. This will enable you to prioritize your tasks and track progress.
Adopt the Right Policies and Procedures
Compliance with policies and procedures set by the management is critical to smooth running of any organization. It provides a roadmap for day-to-day operations and helps to streamline internal processes. When your employees are following policies and procedures for designated roles and responsibilities, they will use time and resources more efficiently and provide better customer service. The procedures will also give employees a greater understanding of how specified tasks can be performed correctly.
Standardize your Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Although each customer will have his own specific needs, the core services that you will provide to all your customers will remain the same. So there is no need to rewrite the entire SLA every time a customer is on board. Lack of standardization of SLA means unnecessary spending time in rewriting contracts, which can lead to functional inefficiency. So, it is time to standardize your SLA process to reduce staff inefficiency so that they can focus on activities that matter most.
Handling complex infrastructure can put extra burden on your IT staff, which can diminish efficiency and organizational productivity. The key to eliminate inefficiency lies in implementing systems that simplify processes. By simplifying their IT infrastructure, MSPs can dedicate more of their resources to providing better services. MSPs are able to achieve the most efficient use of resources, which can help to drive productivity. Intelligent infrastructure design will help them to identify and get rid of bottlenecks, repetitive or redundant tasks, which can work wonders to improve operational efficiency.
Outsourcing can have a positive impact across all areas of your business. Many MSPs consider outsourcing as a feasible option to reduce operating costs and boost operational efficiency. When your company is managing functions that are complicated in nature, outsourcing it will allow you to get the work done in a much more efficient way.
There are certain tasks that you will benefit from handling to someone else. For instance, outsourcing service desk is considered to be a cost-effective solution to provide 24X7 support. When your team is overburdened with too much work, outsourcing certain tasks will certainly help to ease the burden. This will translate into more efficiency for your organization while saving a lot of money in the process.
Find out what tasks are there in your business that take a lot of time. Once you have this information, consider outsourcing them. This will enable your team to spend more time on core business competencies to improve performance. Outsourcing frees up in-house resources so that they focus on tasks that contribute to organization’s efficiency.
Keep in mind that outsourcing is highly successful when both parties work together. Choose an outsource partner that you can fully trust and understands your business well. This will enable you to operate more efficiently and in a flexible manner.
Automation can certainly help MSPs work more efficiently. It allows MSPs to run repetitive areas of their business by software. This will help to free up man-hours to concentrate on important aspects of business. When MSPs automate repeated and consistent processes, they can achieve faster processing speeds and greater productivity. So despite having reduced staff numbers, MSPs will be able to provide high quality proactive service. This will ensure increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which will promote profitability and continued success.
It is observed that MSPs often monitor their clients’ infrastructure through remote management. With the right automation tools, they can achieve greater efficiency in remotely managing activities. For instance, remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, will allow MSPs to handle management tasks like software updates much more efficiently. Automating incident management activities can also lower response time and improve efficiency. So as a MSP, you need to figure out what processes can be automated and accordingly choose tools to deliver services more efficiently.